web analytics
November 24, 2014 / 2 Kislev, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
IDC Herzliya Campus A Day on Campus

To mark IDC Herzliya’s 20th anniversary, we spent a day following Prof. Uriel Reichman, IDC’s founder and president, and Jonathan Davis, VP for External Relations, around its delightful campus.



Home » InDepth » Op-Eds »

Frank Macchiarola: Judeophile And Mensch

Frank Macchiarola

Frank Macchiarola

“His father, a sanitation worker who had never finished high school, moved his family to Jewish neighborhoods [in Brooklyn], so that his children might be instilled with the value that Jews place on learning.”
– From Joseph Berger’s New York Times obituary of Dr. Frank Macchiarola

Frank J. Macchiarola, the former New York City schools chancellor, dean of Yeshiva University’s Cardozo Law School and president of St. Francis College, died last week of liver cancer. My Jewish family, with a connection to the nation’s largest public-school system that began when my maternal grandfather, David Schneiderman, entered PS 144 on the Lower East Side in 1899, owes him a huge debt of gratitude.

While my teaching career with the New York Department of Education lasted from 1985 until 2009, after Dr. Macchiarola’s tenure between 1978 and 1983, my late mother’s career stretched from the late 1940s until 1981. And it was of the wise policies implemented by Dr. Macchiarola that made possible my mother’s last few years of classroom teaching.

Florence Schulte spent most of her 25-year career teaching home economics to black and Puerto Rican young women at Junior High Schools 149 and 151 in District 7 in the South Bronx. But with the advent in 1969 of the unbelievably destructive policy of community-control of elementary and junior-high schools, effected under the craven leadership of then-Mayor John Lindsay and suffused with a virulent strain of anti-Semitism, schools in black and Hispanic neighborhoods were transferred from the capable hands of white (mainly Jewish) administrators and educators to their counterparts in the minority community, whose qualifications were often the color of their skin or their ability to speak Spanish.

Although my mother had top seniority in her licensed field in all of District 7, she was assigned in the mid-1970s to teach special education, for which she was not trained, instead of receiving the home-economics classes she was contractually entitled to. The United Federation of Teachers, whose creation she played a part in by going on strike in 1960 (when she was raising three young children), didn’t aggressively challenge the illegal assignment, explaining that she should be grateful she still had a job.

(During the city’s fiscal crisis in the mid-1970s, 15,000 young teachers were dismissed. My mother, to no avail, had recommended that she and the other senior teachers take a $1,000 a year pay cut to help save some of their younger colleagues’ jobs.)

According to the UFT contract, the home-economics teachers at JHS 151, mostly black or Puerto Rican, should have been given this special-education assignment before she was required to accept it. But my mother made the best of a horrendous situation, asking for a sabbatical to study special education at Hunter College, which was near my parents’ apartment on the Upper East Side.

But when Frank Macchiarola was chosen by newly-elected Mayor Ed Koch in 1978, the new schools chancellor made it clear to the Board of Education bureaucrats that the educators who devoted their professional careers to the children of New York would be treated with the utmost respect during their final years before retirement. If they wanted sabbaticals or seniority transfers to school districts closer to their homes, or to less emotionally draining schools, the employees at 65 Court Street had better make sure this happened.

In 1979, my parents and my 86-year-old maternal grandmother, Rose Schneiderman, moved from Manhattan to Forest Hills, and as my mother didn’t drive, the subway commute to her school, located near Yankee Stadium, was a genuine schlep of at least 75 minutes in each direction. She requested and was quickly granted a transfer to a junior high school in Astoria, Queens, where she taught until September 1981, when she reached the 25-year milestone and a full pension.

She enjoyed a marvelous retirement, split between New York and Fort Lauderdale, until her death in 2009 at the age of 86. She made four trips to Israel with my father, Barney Schulte, one of General Patton’s men, between 1981 and 1989, the year of his death. In the 1990s she made separate trips to Israel with my sister and me. She belonged to many Jewish organizations – Women’s League for Israel, Brandeis, Hadassah, ORT, etc. – in both Florida and New York.

About the Author: Mark Schulte has written about World War II and the liberation of the concentration camp for two decades for The Jewish Press, New York Post, Weekly Standard, New York Daily News and other publications.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Frank Macchiarola: Judeophile And Mensch”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Banner at Tehran military parade, Sept. 23, 2013. Although the English statement is relatively mild, in Persian and Arabic it says “Death to America.”
Iran Says Nuclear Deal ‘Impossible’ by Nov. 24 Deadline
Latest Indepth Stories
Jo-map

As Arabs murder and maim Jews, Jordan’s leaders bark the blood libel of “Israeli aggression.”

bulb

Perhaps attacking a terrorist’s legacy broadly and publicly would dissuade others from terrorism?

Medics evacuate the dead and injured after attack on Har Nof synagogue Tuesday morning.

R’ Aryeh yelled “Run, I’ll fight!” Using a chair against terrorists to buy time so others could flee

Kfar Kana Riots

Riot started when Muslim students wore the Pal. kaffiyeh and Druze students demanded them removed

The “Media” didn’t want us to know what a kind, giving, loving young woman Dalia was.

A “Palestine” could become another Lebanon, with many different factions battling for control.

Maimonides himself walked and prayed in the permissible areas when he visited Eretz Yisrael in 1165

Having a strong community presence at the polls shows our elected officials we care about the issues

Israel’s Temple Mount policy prefers to blames the Jews-not the attackers-for the crisis.

When Islam conquered the Holy Land, it made its capital in Ramle of all places, not in Jerusalem.

I joined the large crowd but this time it was more personal; my cousin Aryeh was one of the victims.

Terrorists aren’t driven by social, economic, or other grievances, rather by a fanatical worldview.

The phrase that the “Arabs are resorting to violence” is disgraceful and blames the victim.

Tuesday, Yom Shlishi, a doubly good day in the Torah, Esav’s hands tried to silence Yaakov’s voice.

Because of the disparate nature of the perpetrators, who are also relatively young, and given the lack of more traditional targets and the reverence Palestinians have for their homes, one now hears talk of Israel returning to a policy of destroying the houses of terrorists’ families.

More Articles from Mark Schulte
Ed Koch

Most obituaries on Ed Koch paid scant attention to his military service in World War II.

Front-Page-010413

In the introduction to their recently published Jewish Jocks: An Unorthodox Hall of Fame, Franklin Foer and Marc Tracy hyperbolically describe American basketball between the world wars as a “majority-owned subsidiary of New York Jewish culture.”

“His father, a sanitation worker who had never finished high school, moved his family to Jewish neighborhoods [in Brooklyn], so that his children might be instilled with the value that Jews place on learning.” – From Joseph Berger’s New York Times obituary of Dr. Frank Macchiarola Frank J. Macchiarola, the former New York City schools […]

A recent dispute between conservative commentator Charles Krauthammer and White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer centered on the Obama administration’s return to the British government in January 2009 of a bust of Winston Churchill, which had been kept in the Oval Office by President George W. Bush following the September 11, 2001 attacks.

While the Supreme Court recently invalidated the Stolen Valor Act, which imposed criminal penalties on Americans who falsely claim medals for combat bravery, prominent Democrats – including Jesse Jackson, Charles Rangel, Robert Morgenthau and Eric Holder – have repeatedly distorted World War II and Holocaust history for purposes of ethnic politics.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/frank-macchiarola-judeophile-and-mensch/2012/12/26/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: